>> Monday, December 8, 2008
On Friday, I went down to my hometown of Woodsboro to help judge an elementary UIL contest. What? You've never heard of it? I can't imagine why.
Woodsboro is a tiny little podunk town in South Texas. We had just 1,571 people as of July 2007. Our school has moved down to 1A (we were 2A while I attended). There may not be much to do in town, but there's always someone you know. People in the closest large city have never even heard of us. As funny as that sounds, I kind of like that.
My mother has been teaching at Woodsboro Elementary School for over 30 years. I spent a lot of time waiting for her in the hallway. She taught tutorials after school every day so we couldn't go home until 4pm. I would watch our janitors sweep the hallways every day. They would always speak to each other in Spanish and I remember wishing I could figure out what they were saying. Believe it or not, one of them still works at the school. I didn't have the pleasure of running into her, but every time I see her, she reminds me of how I would sit on a little step and count to 100. I'd tell them that I'd already counted to 100 and that my mom STILL wasn't done yet. Obviously, I had issues entertaining myself. On to the original subject.
This year, the elementary school agreed to host the UIL meet finals. My mom, being the wonderful person she is, agreed to plan this entire event. In case some of you forget what some of the UIL events may be, I'll provide a list from memory:
- Oral Reading
- Number Sense
- Art Smart (the one where you have to memorize paintings and painters)
- Maps & Charts
They were so darn cute! I judged Storytelling for 2nd and 3rd graders. They are read a story by one person, then each enters our judging room separately and has to retell the story. We grade them based on details remembered/created, hand gestures and animation. Some stuttered and couldn't remember a thing, others were hilarious and incredibly talented. It was so refreshing to listen to the kids tell stories.
After Storytelling was finished, I helped grade Maps & Charts. This was definitely an event that I would have never entered. Blah. The grading was tedious, making your eyes cross continuously. Each exam has to be graded twice, with the top 6 graded three times. We had to regrade several because scores weren't matching. Talk about getting a headache. After these were graded, the UIL meet came to a close. Everyone went home and drank lots of wine and slept. What? You wouldn't do that?
In case you're wondering, the only UIL event I remember competing in while in elementary was Number Sense. It's a timed test where you have to do all the math in your head. I received 2nd in our district meet in 4th grade. Yup, I was a smart kid. That's my bragging rights for the day.